Thirty four young people are celebrating success and taking steps towards a positive future, thanks to a unique cross-community project based in Limavady.
The ‘Building Brighter Futures’ funded by The International Fund for Ireland and led by Roe Valley Residents Association aims to empower young people to learn how to engage with society as well as build their confidence and skill sets and ultimately become more employable.
The 12-month project targeting 16-25 year olds was launched in 2016 with £93,806 support from the Fund. It has successfully delivered a range of personal development and good relations courses through a series of workshops, team activities, one-to one- sessions and mentoring.
The celebration event also marked the next phase of growth for the programme. A substantial two year investment of £285,509 from the Fund will enable a further 45 young people to enrol for a range of personal development and employability training opportunities.
Commenting at the graduation event International Fund for Ireland Board Member, Paddy Harte said; “The young people graduating at today’s special celebration event are taking their first steps towards a bright future thanks to this project. Building confidence alongside personal and professional development allows participants to become actively involved in planning their own future goals and ambitions. We are delighted to continue to support the good work of Roe Valley Residents Association for another two years.”
To date two participants have gained employment, having never been in a job previously. Four have applied for roles, four have applied for full-time or part-rime courses at Northwest Regional College and five also now volunteer in a range of community services in the area.
Scott, 25 years old from Limavady shares his experience of the programme; “I’d never taken part in any sort of activity but through encouragement from family and friends, I decided to give it a go.
“I left school with nothing but the PYDP programme has given me the support I needed to complete qualifications including; OCN in Youth Work, Good Relations, Health and Safety and First Aid certificates. Initially, when I joined I was very anxious about meeting people but now my confidence has grown and I enjoy getting to socialise with others. I plan to stick with the project for the next two years to continue my progress.”
Karen Campbell Co-ordinator from Roe Valley Resident’s Association said; “Our projects targets young people with complex issues such as poor mental health, unstable family backgrounds, addictions, homelessness depression and criminality. These issues are unfortunately all too common in communities today and young people are at real risk of being drawn towards negative influences.
“We help to address and tackle these issues head on and equip participants with knowledge, skill sets and confidence to build a positive future. We are delighted that those here today have completed the first stages of the programme. In the next two years we plan to continue with some existing participants and focus on getting them ‘employment ready’. We also hope to enrol 20 new young people for the programme. We look forward to growing the project and opportunities for those involved for the local community.”